Herb: California Walnut
Latin name: Juglans californica
Family: Juglandaceae (Walnut Family)
Medicinal use of California Walnut:An infusion of the leaves is used to treat thin blood.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Moist or dry gravelly soils along river courses and bottomlands. Locally common in oak woods below 750 metres.
Edible parts of California Walnut:Seed - raw, cooked or used in pies, confections etc. A sweet flavour. The seed is small with a thick shell but it makes good eating. The seed is up to 15mm in diameter. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it tends to go rancid quickly.
Other uses of the herb:Often used as a rootstock for J. regia. Plants produce chemicals which can inhibit the growth of other plants. These chemicals are dissolved out of the leaves when it rains and are washed down to the ground below, reducing the growth of plants under the tree. The roots of many members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). Wood - moderately coarse-grained. An attractive wood, but the frequent branching pattern of the trunk limits the use of this wood commercially
Propagation of California Walnut:The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual deep pots in a cold frame. You need to protect it from mice, birds, squirrels etc. The seed usually germinates in late winter or the spring. Plant out the seedlings into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two. The seed can also be stored in cool moist conditions (such s the salad compartment of a fridge) over the winter and sown in early spring but it may then require a period of cold stratification before it will germinate.
Cultivation of the herb:Moist or dry gravelly soils along river courses and bottomlands. Locally common in oak woods below 750 metres.
Known hazards of Juglans californica:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.